9 Mar
5th Sunday of Lent (A)
Ez. 37:12-14
Ps. 129:1-2,3-4,4-6,7-8
Rom. 8:8-11
Jn. 11:1-45
(Ps Wk I)
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We have reached the last week of our Lenten journey in preparation for the beginning of Holy Week which we celebrate beginning next Sunday.

All four of our readings today - including the Psalms - focus on the promise of the Spirit and of new life for those who have the courage to persevere with Christ. Our first reading is taken from the last verses of a passage which relates Ezekiel's vision of the dry bones in the desert - it would be very helpful if we opened our Bibles first to read that vision in chapter 37 verses 1-11 before we think about the verses from today's liturgy. It is one of the most dramatic visions of the Hebrew Scriptures prophesying renewal and new life, which Christians believe they have found in Christ. It is a promise that Christ has already fulfilled - and offers to each of us who seek renewal and desire new life. Our Psalm reading is often referred to as a penitential Psalm, and encourages us to "wait for the Lord" with confidence - appropriate words to hear at this moment in our Lenten pilgrimage. Our third reading also announces the promise of Christ's Spirit and new life to those of us who have to courage to persevere in following in Christ on his journey, even to his tomb-and his resurrection. Our Gospel reading proclaims the story of Lazarus, foreshadowing Christ's own resurrection, as well as the renewed life that is promised to all those who like Martha and Mary profess our faith in the Lord.

Lord, as we journey through this Lenten season may we experience the presence of Jesus who heals and saves us.

Eternal Father, I offer You everything I do this day; my thoughts, words, joys and sufferings. Grant that, vivified by the Holy Spirit and united to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, my life this day may be of service to You and to others. I also pray that all those preparing for marriage discover in Sacrament the source of Christ's grace for living a fithful and fruitful love. Amen.

That the importance of forgiveness and reconciliation between persons and people may be understood and that the Church through her testimony, may spread Christ's love, the source of new humanity.

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